Free Will

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by Morris, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    I have always had trouble understanding the concepts of soul and spirit. If soul is mind-emotion, what is spirit? Let me ask it another way. I can relate to soul because I can relate to what it feel like to have a mind and emotions. But I have trouble relating to having a spirit because I can't understand what it is and where I might find a correspondence in myself. Do you have any other words to describe spirit so that I can try to figure out what you are saying?
     
  2. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Yes. I believe that I do and thanks for asking.

    Spirit encompasses anything that is transcendent of and to time and space. Spirit is recognized as patterns within time and space but it is not bound to or by them. Things like Truth, Eternity, God, Evil and Good are all transcendent and hence spiritual in their nature. You cannot put your finger on any of them, but you can recognize them all by the patterns they produce within time-space.
     
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  3. NY.Light

    NY.Light Registered User

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    I'm not sure about free will, but the will is something that Buddhism talks about explicitly in terms of conquering the will. Not elimination of, but controlling your individual will. The antithesis to this would be the philosophy of Nietzsche, who advocates the free reign of the will.
     
  4. jjjjjggggg

    jjjjjggggg Premium Member

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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
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  5. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    Please forgive me for taking so long to reply, I have been looking for my copy of "Six Great Ideas" by the philosopher Mortimer Adler. Your comments reminded me of a description that Adler gives of Ideas. The second section of Adler's book is entitled "Ideas we judge by: Truth, Goodness, Beauty". When I first read your post I was struck by the similarity of the words you chose to describe as "transcendent and hence spiritual in their nature" and Adler's list of "Ideas we judge by". While the spiritual and the philosophical are seen by some as opposing viewpoints, I wonder if in this case they are both viewing the same object. Perhaps it is spirit, or our "spiritual condition" if you will, that aids us in our judgements. By refining these core values, whether we approach them from an intellectual or a spiritual perspective, we increase our ability to make correct judgements that lead to constructive action. Action like you referred to here:
     
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  6. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    Personally, I do not believe in a Judgement Day. I don't personally believe our decisions are tallied up at the end of our lives and weighed on a scale. That allows me to see Calvin's, Aquinas' and others "compatabilism" as the, well. To be be direct, it paints them into a corner which precludes a sentient, benevolent God. In accepting that free will is in fact provided by our Creator, and yet God, who is omnipotent, predetermined all of it. And so, why would God make any creatures suffer in ignorance (the world that did not have his Word), struggle in pain to hopefully make correct decisions which leads either to nirvana or burning Hell? Because he wanted to. And an onmipotent God wants for nothing.

    And if you set aside the reasons for doing this to us (because, we can't know the mind of God, etc etc), then how can it be benevolent to give people the free will to allow themselves to burn in hell, while at the same time predestining them to do so?

    It is a self contradicting mess, I'm afraid. One that neither the Bible nor the philosophers (and I tackled Hume, Kant, Spinoza etc) can answer to satisfaction.

    I think you have to utilize the evidence of observation. Clearly, evil actions are a choice by those not insane (i.e., incapable of fully understanding social norms). We know it, because we make those choices. We see others do so. Ergo, free will exists.

    But also we know that we are largely the product of what we have observed. Moral relativism may not be absolute, but we learn what our own particular society views as evil, and make choices within that structure. We know that a human being raised in the wild will have a different set of standards, one circling around survival. A more brutal world, and one that has made up the vast majority of humankind's time on Earth. Was it evil to kill your brother and take his woman or his food, before concepts of evil existed? According to Plato's forms, sure it was. I trend towards thinking that evil is a social word, and society is what separates us from the animals. But invented and measured by us.
     
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  7. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    Aristotle is great without all the Aquinas :)

    They had just recently rediscovered Aristotle (via Islamic scholars, ah the irony) and he was bending it to Christianity. I don't mean to sound glib, but to me its a bit like trying to true astrophysics with Revelation, or oceanoagraphy with Moses parting the Red Sea. You read his stuff on transubstantiation? Woo.

    But if I had remained a Christian seeker rather than letting it go in favor of Deist seeker, I suppose I'd feel compelled to true it.

    In my worldview (which I don't hold above anyone elses), you get two principal things from ethically sound behavior. Both are manifestations of the same things: peace and harmony. Peace with yourself, harmony with civilization. Personally, I don't believe God is concerned with our actions one way or another, it is entirely on us.

    But I also subscribe to a prime mover idea. We've talked. Big bang, etc. The fundamental difference I think in my view and the "compatabalist" sort of view, in my mind, is a anthropormorphiclly sentient, meddlesome sort of God. That just doesn't square, to me, with our observation of the universe. It is just to grand a place for it to jibe that the Archiect would care if we let the old lady cross the road in her own, or not. That is on us, and affects us. The micromanager God just appears too petty, to me.

    Wandering OT. See you tonight Brother.
     
  8. GKA

    GKA Premium Member

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    [QUOTE="Morris, post: 134162, member: 15586"
    I don't believe a person who lives in servitude has free will. .[/QUOTE]

    It is possible for a person to live in servitude yet not be subservient, devotees do it, there is an inner peace for those who choose to serve, I don't mean serving the whims of man, it must be a higher purpose
     
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  9. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    To Provide Service is Choice Driven. When there is no Choice, it is no Service.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
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